Friday, August 07, 2009

Better than Ashley Simpson doing a jig.

I'm gonna break what is generally considered a cardinal rule among elite bloggers. The one that goes, "Don't blog your dreams, because no one really cares." (That's never stopped me before, however.) So here we go:

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I'm the lead singer of a alterna-rock band, think Collective Soul or something college-rocky. We're doing a live concert in this gorgeous auditorium, similar to the one in "School of Rock," with the balcony and everything. Large venue. This concert is being produced by Janet Jackson and Randy Jackson (the Idol judge, who in my mind has always been an extant member of the Jackson 5). The concert is also being simulcast live on the internet.

It's near the end of the show, and I'm doing the lead singer banter bit, thanking the Jacksons for setting up the event, and teasing them a little. I think i actually made the joke, "Keep it down you two, or we're turning this concert around and going home." But I'm the affable lead singer, so everyone laughed.

We're taking a short break, because I can see on the monitors that display the broadcast that there's a quick commercial for another band playing a future show. The band is called "O. A. F." which I mock quietly (but audibly) by crossing my eyes, and saying "Oaf!" Another laugh. Finally, we're "live" again, so I say something like, "Okay, let's go!"

The music starts. Typical pop-rock radio fare. Except... I don't remember the words. So I start coughing to cover it up. The problem is, there's a voice track to "boost" my vocals, and it's playing while I'm coughing. After the longest ten seconds of my career, as I'm gesturing with a finger across the throat to cut it off, the music ends. The band is embarrassed. Randy and Janet angrily storm out the side door of the auditorium. And I'm there, up front, amid the catcalls and boos. People are getting up to leave, laughing. One guy holds up his iPhone and says, "Dude, this clip is up all over the internet!"

Here's where it gets odd: I ignore the hisses and say something like, "Okay, okay, hang on, everybody! Come back, I wanna say something." People stop walking out, standing in the aisles, shushing a few talkers. Everyone's waiting for an explanation.

I go on to say something like, "Yes, I was using a vocal backing track tonight. I'm sorry if that seems like cheating. There are various reasons why a singer would do that. For example, maybe he's sick, and can't hit his usual notes. Maybe he's having trouble remembering a new song. Maybe...maybe he's just afraid of letting people down. I was. I wanted to give you guys the best show I could. We all do--that's what we do every night. We don't take this for granted, guys. We love playing music and making you happy, and we bust our tails every night to put on a good show, because we know that's what you want.

"I know I let you down tonight. But I want to make it up to you. So, here, gimme this--" At this point, I walk back to the guitar tech and take an acoustic guitar from his hand. As I'm walking back I grab a stool from near the drum kit, and plant myself in front of the mic. "No gimmicks, no machines. Just you and me."

The audience starts to filter back to their seats. Some leave, but most stay, confused and curious what will come next. I look over my shoulder at the dumbstruck band. "You guys can go grab some dinner in the dressing room; I'm good here."

Then I proceed to play an acoustic set. Our songs, covers, stuff I didn't even know if I knew well enough. And the crowd slowly warms up, until we're all singing along, having a great time.

Then I wake up.

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A bizarre version of the "embarrassed in front of a crowd" dream. Maybe subconsciously, I'm reassuring myself that, if I fail, I can fail spectacularly and still keep people happy. Or maybe I'm just nuts.

We report, you decide.

4 comments:

B Lines said...

What detail!!! That was a really cool dream. If I had been dreaming it, I would never have been able to remember the words, even when they all came back and gave me another chance. Like I can never get a phone number dialed or a name called out, never can run when I need to... I try over and over, but it never happens. At least you were able to follow through!!

Jaimie said...

http://xkcd.com/621/

Dave said...

J: smart aleck.

B: i only wish i were as interesting and talented in real life.

will said...

Perhaps subconsciously you're trying to tell yourself to take it easy on all the juicers in MLB.